The Age of Discovery of Elements Essay

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The Age of Discovery of Elements "The nineteenth century was the golden age for the discovery of elements. Scientists began to look for patterns of behaviour between elements."*1 Johann Döbereiner, a German chemist, was the first to attempt to categorise the elements. He used their atomic weights, which we now know as atomic masses. In 1863, John Newlands, produced something that he called the

middle of document…

"Every element has it own characteristic set of lines. A

new line (or lines) in a spectrum meant a new element."*6


He called it Gallium, this new element had very similar properties to

Mendeleev's predicted element 'eka-aluminium'; this therefore

supported his idea of the Periodic table hugely.

Table 1, comparing Mendeleev's prediction with the properties of

element 31, gallium. *7


Gallium has some very unusual properties, some which suggest that it

is a metal and some that imply it is a non-metal.

Its physical properties, a melting point of 29.78°C (which is almost

UK room temperature) making it a liquid metal along with Mercury and

Caesium. It also has an extremely high boiling point, 2403°C; together

with its low boiling point gallium has the 'widest liquid range' of

any element discovered so far. Gallium is also denser as a liquid than

as a solid, as is water.

Word count: 190

Gallium's chemical properties include, dissolving in acid and alkalis,

evolving hydrogen. Aluminium and
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